With Such Words
if you aren't a hypocrite, your moral standards aren't high enough
Mansfield Park: Chapter 9 
13th-Jun-2013 12:18 am
talibusorabat: A white redheaded woman making a face "The mature companion" (Doctor Who: Donna Mature)
Chapter 8

Mrs. Rushworth is rather sweet. I like that she learned from the housekeeper and that she paid attention to Fanny -- not through charitable impulse but just because Fanny's interested. A little thing, superficial, but at the same time genuine.

Fffft, Fanny and the chapel. She makes me think of Catherine from Northanger Abbey and Marianne from Sense and Sensibility.

And here we run into my first real difficulty with Fanny and her very conservative morals. Mary's sentiments regarding the chapel and services are much more in line with my own, and while her expression of them wasn't particularly sensitive to Edmund's feelings as someone interested in becoming a chaplain, my first impulse at Fanny's reaction is to roll my eyes and tell her to lighten up.

Mary and Fanny -- extrovert versus introvert.

Also how annoying flirting can be for the people not doing the flirting. Ahaha oh Mary and Edmund.
13th-Jun-2013 04:36 am (UTC)
tigerlily: (Shun)
I like that with Mrs. Rushworth you get normal social interaction for Fanny, unconditioned by her situation at the Bertrams'. Well, conditioned yes, because otherwise Fanny wouldn't have been invited, but either she hasn't picked up on what Fanny's place in the family is or she disregards it. Mrs. Rushworth just sees another lady, and one who's actually interested in something Mrs. Rushworth is proud of and put effort into learning.

I had mixed feelings with that Fanny and Mary and Edmund conversation. My personal church feelings are with Mary's own, but I also feel that Fanny was really excited and Mary was basically a buzzkill. Not for everyone, especially since she was amusing in her expression, but she was harshing Fanny's squee. I've been in Fanny's place - getting excited about something only for someone to damage the experience because they weren't excited - just about other topics that don't necessarily have a moral tinge to them. At least she does recognize that Mary didn't mean to be insensitive, and feels bad for her embarrassment on discovering Edmund's life plan.

Something struck me as interesting with the romantic triangle here and with Julia specifically. Well, two things. The first is how Maria was really very uncomfortable with being hit on by Henry, even though she is already attracted to him and will act on it later. Her discomfort might have to do with that attraction, but it's still there, and Henry had to have noticed it and kept going anyway. And she was helpless to stop it because of how innocent the scene looked. And Julia was inadvertently making it possible.

The second thing is the commentary on internal versus external motivation. In the previous chapter, Julia feels like she should have offered to stay instead of Edmund and doesn't. Here, she feels like she has to talk to Mrs. Rushworth out of politeness. That is, out of the need to not seem rude, not out of consideration for Mrs. Rushworth's feelings and whether she deserves to be left alone. I know that when I do things I feel like I have to do but that I don't want to do, it does make a difference if my motivation is at least partly internal. I need to feel that it's right for me to do what I'm doing, and that it's not mostly because of some unfair situation I can't get out of. Otherwise there will be rantings and whining and misery, even if I keep it all inside.

What amuses me is that Edmund is right, but I don't agree with the text, which I assume is validating his beliefs on the importance of the church straightforwardly. The church and religion is very powerful in my country when it comes to morals and social issues, but I actually hate that and think it's for the worse. (Not that atheism as expressed by the likes of Richard Dawkins is great either. Still.)

Edited (Change of clumsy wording I spotted and to add the first paragraph. ) 2013-06-13 07:48 am (UTC)
13th-Jun-2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
talibusorabat: An older white man in a crown "So I've executed all the sorcerers...wait, there's Harry Potter." (Merlin: Harry Potter)
LMAO, that's a good point about hashing Fanny's squee. I tend to get hyper-sensitive about religious stuff, so to me it felt a lot more like pearl-clutching than "...well there goes my fun times".

I just really like Mary, in part. She reminds me of Emma with her liveliness and wit and benign selfishness.

I don't think Maria was uncomfortable with Henry flirting with her -- I think she was uncomfortable with the reminder that she's marrying Mr. Rushworth. She likes to think about her upcoming marriage when she's reminded of the wealth she'll gain, but otherwise she seems to prefer pretending that she's single and available for Henry.
13th-Jun-2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
tigerlily: Tara looking over her shoulder from Restless (Tara looking over her shoulder from Rest)
For me, if Fanny and Edmund were real, I wouldn't feel happy with what they said in this chapter. Religious stuff, in particular the Christian stuff I was raised in, can have a very bad effect on me too. After I wrote my comment last night, I found it weird that I could detach myself from them, but Fanny works for me because she's at a remove from my time and place. I don't respond that way to all historical characters though.

I thought Henry was bothering her, because the mention of marriage and the way it happened gave him the opportunity to flirt with her about it. I think she's more comfortable - or was before chapter ten - when she thinks about how good her marriage is for her socially. It's all she's ever known to want, and now someone is waking up different feelings and possibilities. At this point, she hasn't yet really thought that Henry wants to marry her. If he hadn't flirted with her then or ever again, she would have taken it with some disappointment but not too badly, which is probably why he kept doing it. And I think it was the location that played a factor - she has Crawford feelings and Rushworth feelings. In Sotherton Court, the Rushworth feelings were supposed to be more powerful and keep her comfortable.
17th-Jun-2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
talibusorabat: A young white woman with brown braids reading (Angel: Fred reading)
I definitely agree about Henry waking Maria to different possibilities in this chapter, and that this little exchange is when she starts to seriously want him instead of just having fun flirting with him. But I don't see him as the bother. Julia's the one who keeps bringing up her engagement to Mr. Rushworth and their impending marriage; Julia's the one who talks about it so much and so loudly as to catch Mr. Rushworth's attention and "expose her sister to the whispered gallantries of her lover..." and when they leave the chapel, Julia's the one Maria is unhappy with.
17th-Jun-2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
tigerlily: Tara looking over her shoulder from Restless (Tara looking over her shoulder from Rest)
Julia is the one who unintentionally and unknowingly gives Henry the chance, but he is the one who takes it, so it's his fault, even if Maria only blames Julia. It makes sense to me that she would blame Julia, both because of her specific context (her problem is liking Henry too much and Julia being her rival) and because I think people in general prefer to blame women more than men (and in this kinds of situations in general), but I don't think that means Henry isn't the bother. I think this particularly because barouche!Maria was happy to be reminded of her importance as a soon-to-be wife to Mr. Rushworth. It happening again wouldn't have made her unhappy if Henry had left her alone.
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